Vijay Mallya arrested in London, likely to be deported to India

Times seem to have turned bad for the 'King of Good Times', Vijay Mallya, with the Scotland Yard arresting him in London for likely deportation to India, on the request of Indian law enforcement authorities.

The Scotland Yard on Tuesday arrested fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya in London. He is expected to be produced before the magistrate court in Westminster and is likely to be deported to India at a later date.

Mallya is wanted in several economic offences, including defaulting on loans worth around Rs9,000 crores. The Indian government had requested the Theresa May government to extradite Mallya.

Mallya, who arrived in London in March last year to escape arrest and legal proceedings in India, had his Indian passport revoked (See: Mallya tracked to mansion near London, opposition irate).

The flamboyant businessman is wanted in India for defaulting on loan worth around Rs9,000 crore related to Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012.

A special court in London had also allowed the Enforcement Directorate to invoke the India-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to probe a money laundering case against Mallya. Despite its efforts the ED failed to corner Mallya. In the past they had obtained a non-bailable warrant, revoked his passport and unsuccessfully sought an Interpol warrant (CBI approaches Interpol for Vijay Mallya's arrest). The ED has attached his assets worth Rs9,661 crore in the case.

The CBI is also investigating Mallya for the alleged loan defaults under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption. Mallya had fled from the country in 2015 and sought refuge in the United Kingdom, after a lookout notice was issued against him.

During meeting with the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, finance minister Arun Jaitley had requested that Mallya be handed over to Indian authorities.

The UK authorities had also, on 21 February, conveyed to their Indian counterparts that the secretary of state had certified their extradition request.  ''The UK Home department on February 21 conveyed that the request of India for extradition of Mallya has been certified by the secretary of state and sent to the Westminster Magistrates' Court for a district judge to consider the issue of releasing of warrant,'' external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

Mallya who has been leading an extravagant lifestyle and once branded himself the 'King of Good Times', was sacked in February from the board of United Breweries, the firm through which he once controlled his business empire.

Recovery proceedings against Mallya started after his failed airline venture Kingfisher Airlines created huge amounts of bad loans for lenders. Recently, a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India managed to sell Mallya's iconic Kingfisher villa in Goa after three failed attempts at auction.

The sea-front villa, which was Mallya's party pad, was bought by actor-businessman Sachiin Joshi for Rs73 crore. The villa was among the assets Mallya pledged to his lenders, who took possession of the property in May 2016.